When it came to the whole craft whiskey boom thimgamajig, my innocence was lost almost immediately. It didn’t win me friends in the industry at the time, but I think I did give credit where credit was due in terms of what tasted good. As a consequence, I didn’t fall madly in love with the few darlings of the craft world at the time, namely Corsair, or maybe Old Portreo, or even Balcones. Even if they were decent, I didn’t see the point in shelling out $50 to $60 (or more) for a bottle that didn’t remotely compare to what the evil conglomerates were making. I didn’t like the fact that one of the reasons for the monstrous craft price tags was that you were simply paying for the massive up-front investments they needed to get the distillery up and running. Nevertheless, there were some concepts I simply could not resist. One such concept was the emergence of the American Single Malt category. And when faced with the possibility of sampling Balcones Texas Single Malt, I stood up, saluted, said amen, and remembered the Alamo. On to some particulars…
We will not put you through a company history or a distillery tour for Balcones, Google can do that for you. For today’s purposes, we will stick with Texas Single Malt. Comprised of 100% malted barley, and clocking in at a high 53% ABV, non-chill filtered, today’s selection has no real unique properties other than a curious aging process. A single batch of Texas Single Malt is aged in several new, charred oak casks of varying sizes for a period of about 14 to 24 months. They are then married together in a single cask for a final maturation period. Reminds me of how Forty Creek ages their spirit. Price wise you are looking at $50 to $60 per bottle. Shocker.
Nose- Grapefruit sprinkled with brown sugar. Apple, light leather and corn. Buttered popcorn. Caramel.
Taste- Sweet. Brown sugar. Viscous, molasses and slight pepper.
Finish- Sugared molasses cookie. Fig. Grapefruit. Buttery. Medium length.
Comment- An overall sweet affair with some weird but not off-putting notes. Certainly a unique, pleasant whiskey, but probably not a repeat buy at this price. Adios.
SWC Rating – 84/100
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